AliExpress is a large cross-border e-commerce platform based in China, favored by global consumers for its affordable prices and wide range of products. But why are products on AliExpress so cheap? In today’s blog, I’ll analyze the reasons objectively.

AliExpress connects Chinese sellers directly to global consumers.

China, known as the world’s factory, enjoys abundant cheap labor and well-established industrial supply chains. All these ensure lower manufacturing costs for Chinese products. AliExpress, as a B2C site under Alibaba Group, bridges Chinese suppliers with global consumers, eliminating additional costs from middlemen. So, when buying on AliExpress, consumers can enjoy lower prices and a better value proposition than other channels.

For example, the swimsuit shown below is priced at around $30 on Amazon, whereas purchasing the same swimsuit on AliExpress only costs $5. Why so a big price difference? Because many Amazon sellers purchase products from China and resell them at higher prices to make profits. New sellers on Amazon often prefer using AliExpress to buy cheap Chinese products, usually with small orders under $100 like droppshipping.

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In addition, AliExpress boasts a large number of sellers, and with more Chinese sellers entering the platform, competition is becoming increasingly fierce. To attract customers, sellers lower product prices through price competition and promotional strategies. This also contributes to the affordability of things on AliExpress.

Some sellers may also buy from overstock wholesale markets at extremely low prices, and then sell items at lower prices on AliExpress. In Guangzhou and Yiwu, there are many overstock wholesale markets offering a variety of stock items such as leggings, T-shirts, and toys. Such inventory items are typically sold by weight. It’s easy to imagine how low the prices can be, often far below the production price.

Small & low-value parcels are shipped via cheap cross-border logistics.

When browsing on AliExpress, you’ll notice many small lightweight items priced at less than $5. Sellers deliver such items with economical cross-border shipping methods, such as Cainiao Super Economy, China Post Ordinary Small Packet Plus, etc.

This type of economic shipping works in a way of China Post/Chinese logistics services + postal services of the destination country. Among all types of logistics, the postal service network is the most extensive and comprehensive globally, and it’s the cheapest.

For example, if you purchase a phone case on AliExpress and have it shipped from China to the UK, you might find that some sellers offer Cainiao Super Economy shipping for as little as $0.05. However, the delivery time is usually long and unpredictable. If you prefer faster delivery and tracking available, you can choose other shipping options. For instance, standard shipping might cost around $0.69.

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Note that economic shipping only applies to parcels of light and small general merchandise with an order value below $5. And each country may have different requirements. For instance, economical shipping is not available for packages to the US. Assuming the phone case is sent from China to 3 Mile Bay, New York, you’ll find that the cheapest logistics option provided by the AliExpress seller is standard shipping, priced around $1-$2.

cheap cross-border logistics on AliExpress 3

Shipping options and charges can vary among different AliExpress sellers. Sellers with high order volumes can negotiate big discounts with logistics companies, allowing them to offer lower shipping fees.

AliExpress Choice offers cheaper, more seamless shopping experience.

AliExpress Choice is a Premium service launched by AliExpress in March 2023. This service aims to provide more affordable prices, as low as $1 for 3 items, and cheaper shipping. Currently, on the AliExpress website and app, you can see the Choice page marked with “Free Shipping Over $10,” with 11-day delivery. Additionally, the monthly AliExpress Choice Day shopping event offers greater product discounts, further reducing prices.

AliExpress Choice
AliExpress Choice products

For businesses engaged in dropshipping, the AliExpress Choice service brings benefits. Firstly, bigger discounts and cheaper shipping mean more profits. Additionally, for customers in nearly 20 countries such as Germany and Switzerland, AliExpress Choice offers delivery guarantees, typically within 10 days. Furthermore, customers in over 15 countries, including Spain and France, enjoy free return services. These services can enhance consumer satisfaction.

AliExpress things are so cheap, is it safe to buy?

When it comes to the remarkably low prices of products on the AliExpress platform, some consumers may worry about the quality of the goods. I can assure you that the quality of most items corresponds to their prices, and some even offer excellent value for money.

However, it’s important to compare products from different sellers before ordering and carefully select the most suitable one.

Check if the product description is detailed, including specifications, features, etc. Typically, professional sellers provide comprehensive product descriptions that give you a clear understanding of the item.

Look at store ratings and choose sellers with ratings above average, as shown below.

AliExpress seller's store ratings

Carefully read other buyers’ reviews and comments on the product to understand their shopping experience and evaluations of product quality. Choose products with a low rate of negative reviews.

Be cautious not to have excessively high expectations for products with very low prices. For example, if you spend $20 on a watch on AliExpress but expect it to have the same quality and features as a high-end watch, that’s unrealistic. Generally, a $20 watch can’t match the quality, craftsmanship, or durability of a high-end watch.

Always make payments through the AliExpress platform. If there are any issues with your order, you can open a dispute and file a claim.

AliExpress has well-established buyer protection policies. If you haven’t received your package, experience a delay in delivery, or receive a product that doesn’t match the description in the product listing, you can file a refund request. Describe your issue and upload evidence, such as pictures. If you and the seller can’t reach an agreement on the issue, AliExpress will intervene and provide a full refund if it’s proved to be entirely the seller’s fault.

Additionally, AliExpress provides live customer service agent support. For any problem with an order, buyers can chat with the agent to fix it in real time.

The bottom line

In short, AliExpress is safe to purchase Chinese products at cheap prices, with a wide range of product categories. Whether you’re buying small quantities for personal use or just starting out in a dropshipping business, AliExpress is a good choice.

By the way, when your product sales are going well and your budget exceeds $1000, be sure to contact us to wholesale Chinese products at lower costs.

We are JingSourcing, a leading sourcing company in China, trusted by 4000+ buyers. Most of them are startups and small sellers on platforms like Amazon and other e-commerce platforms. We can help you quickly match reliable suppliers, customize production, inspect finished product quality, and arrange transportation to your place.

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